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June 27, 2016

Enjoy festive fireworks without blasting injuries this Fourth of July

Safety tips from orthopaedic surgeons this Independence Day

ROSEMONT, Ill. (June 27, 2016) — Fireworks in the summer signify the celebration of Independence Day in communities across America. In addition to local neighborhood shows and iconic displays in large cities, people also celebrate with family, friends and fireworks, increasing the risk for injury.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) urges celebrators to follow safety precautions when using fireworks to avoid injury to body parts like fingers, hands, arms or even the face.

A significant number of injuries due to fireworks are reported every year. In 2015, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), fireworks caused:
  • More than 29,200 injuries treated among people of all ages, including 10,181 emergency department visits.
  • Total medical expenses of more than $166 million.
Expert advice:
“Consider going to a professional display in your neighborhood instead of handling fireworks yourself,” said AAOS spokesperson and orthopaedic hand and wrist specialist Nina R. Lightdale-Miric, MD. “But if you decide to use them, carefully read and follow the caution label on the packaging before use to help reduce your risk of serious injury. Not doing so can result in injuries to various parts of your body, especially your hands and can cause permanent burn scars on your face.”

Follow these simple tips to ensure safety for yourself and for those around you:
  • Check with your local police department to determine if fireworks are legal in your area. If so, find out which types, and also verify that there is not a burn ban in effect in your community for fire hazard conditions.
  • Never purchase or use illegal fireworks. Their quality cannot be assured.
  • Only adults should light fireworks.
  • Always have water handy in case of a fire, such as a hose hooked to a faucet, or a nearby bucket of water.
  • Wear safety eyewear when using fireworks.
  • Soak used fireworks in water before discarding to prevent unintentional fires.
  • Never try to relight a firework.
  • If you are injured using fireworks, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Never allow young children to play with or go near fireworks, including sparklers. They
    seem harmless but sparklers can reach temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees.
  • Never handle fireworks if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

About the AAOS
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS provides educational programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal care for patients, and is the authoritative source of information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related issues.

Visit AAOS at: for bone and joint health news, stats, facts, images and interview requests. for inspirational patient stories, and orthopaedic surgeon tips on maintaining bone and joint health, avoiding injuries, treating musculoskeletal conditions and navigating recovery. for patient information on hundreds of orthopaedic diseases and conditions.
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